Author: Catherynne Valente; Ana Juan (Illustrator) F
Pub: 2011; Feiwei & Friends
Genre: Children's Literature, Fairy Tales
Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!
This book was - dare I say it - a breath of fresh air. No, seriously. I know that I'm a long lost soul who just now stumbled upon this book seeing as it made waves in the 2011 world. And yeah the tI'm not quite sure what initially caused me to shrug it off, it just didn't seem like My Thing.
I grabbed this from the audio section of the library and immediately the storytelling was captivating. (The author recorded the audio). So truly, what makes this fairy tale exceptional? Um, outside the most obvs which is its originality? I can gobble up some retellings, but it seems incredibly difficult to find original contemporary fairy tales such as this one.
And September, the little girl who gets transported into fairy land is truly genuine. She's sometimes bratty, often indecisive, but always trusts her instincts and leads with a good heart. And the magical characters? Squeezably charming.
This is definitely going to be a reread because the prose was that gorgeous. One of the faults with audios for me is the inability to highlight powerful and beautiful passages. Also, the book has illustrations. What the what?!
I did manage to pull up some of the quotes that I found memorable.
“She sounds like someone who spends a lot of time in libraries, which are the best sorts of people.”“Readers will always insist on adventures, and though you can have grief without adventures, you cannot have adventures without grief.”“Readers will always insist on adventures, and though you can have grief without adventures, you cannot have adventures without grief.”“One ought not to judge her: all children are Heartless. They have not grown a heart yet, which is why they can climb high trees and say shocking things and leap so very high grown-up hearts flutter in terror. Hearts weigh quite a lot. That is why it takes so long to grow one. But, as in their reading and arithmetic and drawing, different children proceed at different speeds. (It is well known that reading quickens the growth of a heart like nothing else.) Some small ones are terrible and fey, Utterly Heartless. Some are dear and sweet and Hardly Heartless At All. September stood very generally in the middle on the day the Green Wind took her, Somewhat Heartless, and Somewhat Grown.”
You can find more quotes here on the GoodReads page.
 I'm not really sure what about it made it not my thing? Did it look too childish? I'm not a big fan of dragons, maybe that was my thing? WHO KNOWS.